Every 4 years, the world is treated to the ultimate sporting event. No, we’re not talking about the Olympics; we’re talking about The World Cup! The beautiful game has been long celebrated in literature, from Nick Hornby’s ode to his beloved Arsenal in Fever Pitch, to Bill Buford’s examination of hooligan culture in Among the Thugs. The history, pageantry, competition (and occasionally incredible soccer hair) all lend themselves to fine writing, so it’s no wonder we took this opportunity to ask a few of our authors these pressing questions in Penguin’s Seven on Soccer. First up, The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Soccer Is Wrong author Chris Anderson.
Have a favorite book about soccer? Let us know about it in the comments below.
1. Who are you supporting in the World Cup?
USA, Germany, England (I am American and German and I live in England)
Part B. Predict the winner.
Completely unscientifically, I’d say Germany.
2. Tell us your club team:
Don’t have one.
3. Why soccer?
It’s the most democratic and most global of all sports. Anyone can play, anywhere, any time with minimum equipment.
4. Who is your favorite all time player? No Pele’s allowed. You can do better.
5. What is your favorite book or piece of writing on the beautiful game?
Inverting the Pyramid: A History of Football Tactics (Jonathan Wilson)
6. In the battle of the Manchesters—are you City or United?
Neither. If you’re not from Manchester, you really shouldn’t be either.
Part B. Take it to Spain–Barcelona or Real Madrid?
7. Best hair–entire Italian national team or Rooney’s implants?
Italy, hands down.
8. Give Jose Mourinho a new nickname:
9. Predict the star of the 2014 World Cup–Ronaldo, Messi, Ozil or Suarez? Other candidates allowed.
Eden Hazard & Romelu Lukaku
10. If you had the power to relegate one team, club or international, who goes?
The 1998 France team.
11. Issue a red card to one player for all of eternity.
Everyone deserves a second chance.
To see Part 1 by Rosie Schaap, author of DRINKING WITH MEN, click here.
Look out for Part 3, tomorrow 6/11.